Breathing Techniques for Skydivers

Skydiving Breath Techniques

In our sport we always hear “to master a specific skydiving skill you must breathe and relax”. We are often taught all the mechanics of that skill without an emphasis on breathing. This article and videos will help you with your breath to master calm in high stress situations including the benefits of four breath techniques to help with fatigue, stress and dealing with hypoxia that are pertinent to everyday skydiving and especially world records.

The first video below is a 45-Minute seminar to the Project 19 skydiving athletes. However, this seminar is applicable to anyone who wants to level up in their fitness, athletic game, or any type skydiving – whether it’s getting to your A-license, getting an instructor rating, training on a team, or of course, world record skydives.

BENEFITS & USES

Below is a chart with the name (and nicknames) of the breaths covered in the seminar, their benefits, when the best time to utilize them during your skydive regimen, and a video demonstration. In order for these breaths to be fully effective, they need to be practiced so you may condition your lungs to avoid feeling light headed or short of breath, and so that these techniques are autonomous – BEFORE you take them into a high level skydive or event or high stress situation.

CAUTIONS

As there are many benefits, there are cautions. When practicing these techniques, be mindful of the following:

  • Light headedness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Asthma
  • Anxiety or panic attacks

Please set yourself up for success by making sure you’re prepared to practice these breaths. Know that if something doesn’t feel right, please relax and return to your normal breath. Then, if you’re ready, try again. If you have repeated issues of the above symptoms, this techniques may not be for you.

Belly Breath

Breath Nickname Benefits When to Use
Diaphragmatic Breath Belly Breath
  • Build core stability
  • Strengthens diaphragm
  • Build tolerance to intense exercise
  • Slows heart rate, expend less energy
  • Removes toxins from body
  • Visualizing skydive
  • Ride to altitude
  • During freefall
  • Under canopy

Ujjayi Breath

Breath Nickname Benefits When to Use
Ujjayi Breath Victorious Breath
  • Warms the body
  • Tones the lungs
  • Calms the mind to present
  • Ride to altitude
  • Under canopy
  • Morning stretches

Bellows Breath

Breath Nickname Benefits When to Use
Bhastrika Bellows Breath
  • Naturally energizing (“yogic coffee”
  • Clears your mind
  • Clears the immune system
  • Cell regeneration
  • First thing in the morning
  • In between loads

Pressure Breath

Breath Nickname Benefits When to Use
Pressure Breath Floaters Breath
  • Combat effects of altitude (hypoxia)
  • Removes carbon dioxide from lungs
  • Increases athletic performance
  • Any time you feel effects of hypoxia
  • Floating on exit
  • Under canopy

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